More often than not, the image you tie to your content is the first thing that catches a reader’s eyes. Ideally, your image is just as compelling as the copy to encourage the reader to continue on. But what if the stock photo you’ve selected is not compelling? There’s a world of bad stock photography and, in my experience, has led to more unclicked links than any other factor.
Content creators should take as much care in selecting the imagery as they do writing copy, because both are an extension of your brand. Here are four tips for selecting stock photography for your website or blog posts that will gives your content that extra spark to make it soar:
Four Stock Photography Tips to Make Your Content Soar
1. Try to Avoid “See and Say”
It’s easy to think, “I’m writing a blog about X (let’s take pizza delivery) so clearly the image I’m going to use the first image of pizza delivery that I find!” Would that be a delivery car?
Instead, think more about what you’ve written and find an image that conveys an aspect of your article, like the benefit of good pizza delivery (a hot, steaming slice of pizza pie), and not the feature (like the car). This will create more interest for potential new readers who may be seeing your organization’s work for the first time.
2. Avoid Incredibly Tir3D Images.
If you can find a 3D-rendered image of the subject you’re looking for, you more than likely can find a picture of the real thing. 3D renders make your article seem older than it probably is and make the information you’re providing seem less reliable.
If you’re having trouble finding actual photos, try refining your search on the stock site. “Search only photos” and “Search only images with people” are some options in your toolbox that can filter out 3D offenders.
3. Call in Reinforcements
Stock photo sites usually allow you to create galleries of images and have public links to be passed around (no account needed!). Ask co-workers to take a look and share their opinion.
Sometimes having an outside eye (not the author’s, at least) can lead to a different way of thinking about the subject matter of the page or post. This fresh perspective can have a positive effect on how your content is presented to your current and potential readership.
4. Don’t Rule Out Original Photography
Original photography can often be the best choice to convey your brand and get your message across. Effectively using stock photography should be part of your repertoire, but knowing when and how is vitally important. Take the time to choose an image that complements your content and really drives the point home.
Here are some related articles on stock photography:
- Create Authentic Images: Say No to Stock Photography from Content Marketing Institute
- There’s no excuse for using bad stock photography from Justin Kerr Design
- Stock Photography vs. Real Photos: Can’t We Use Both? from Conversion XL
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